Old Burners Never Die… - Page 4

Owners who sing the praises of original cooktops and ovens to the tune of ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’
Old Burners Never Die
Old Burners Never Die
Thermador built-in electric double ovens (above), considered the '50s deluxe approach to family meal preparation, were rarities in Eichlers, but the Eichler X-100 (top) of the San Mateo Highlands still keeps one alive.
Old Burners Never Die
Rob Sorokolit, who lives in a Sacramento custom Carter Sparks home, cooks away on his vintage Chambers AR9-H: "The thing works as good as the day it was purchased."

About his cooktop, Au says, "It's like driving my old Mustang, because I know it's not as good as a modern car. [The cooktop] seems fine. It works. It cooks the food. It gets hot. It gets real hot."

Sometimes, though, the old has got to go. Jessica Endlich and Mark Winkler are doing a remodel that will be true to their Eichler home—but not true to their stove.

"It's cool, and it's got so much character, but from a practical standpoint, and how much we cook, it doesn't work for day-to-day living," Jessica says, with a laugh that suggests desperation.

"Both Mark and I cook, and we have a little galley kitchen that's [too] tight to have two people maneuvering around there. We need more space so we can have two people there—and our daughter is almost three, and she likes to cook.

"There's no way we're going to do that [remodel] around that old stove," she says, adding, "In our remodel, Thermador is the model we're settling on, so there will be some authenticity there."

Also contemplating change is Rachel Cross, who loves the remarkable originality of her Eichler and her stove—but not its size.

"The oven has a lot of character, but it doesn't accommodate cooking for a large party," she says. "We love the look of it, but it's small. You just can't cook multiple dishes in a small oven."

But one stove that's not going anywhere is the Chambers AR9-H. How could it?

"Chambers stoves had lots of really cool features that were the first of their kind in the '40s and '50s," Rob Sorokolit says.

Besides the griddle on top, which can "broil a couple of steaks," he says, the stovetop has two standard burners; and a third, the 'Heat Miser,' whose temperature can be preset just like an oven. That's not a feature found on your ordinary stove.

"If you're cooking stock, and it needs to stay at just barely over 180 degrees," Rob says, "you use the Heat Miser."